8 things you need to know before taking your dog for a drive

Picture your dog is sitting in the back seat, its head out window, fur blowing luxuriously in the wind, tongue flapping. That is the expression of pure doggy happiness. Your pup might even enjoy going for a ride in your Acura even more than you do. But when it comes to riding around with your fluffy friend, there are a few things you need to know to make it a smooth and safe ride for the both of you.

Take a carrier for your pet’s first trip

If it’s the first time your pooch is going for a ride, it’s a good idea to keep them in a carrier or cage until they get used to it and get a handle for the rules of the road, so to speak. This isn’t just because Fido might panic, it’s also because Fido might get too excited and unintentionally do something dangerous, like jump in your lap while you’re trying to drive. Be sure to strap the carrier into the seat so your dog doesn’t get hurt if you need to make a sudden stop.


Even a seasoned pro should be strapped in

A great safety option once you trust your dog to wander a little more is to keep it on a leash and attach the leash to a fastened seatbelt. This way they can lie down in the back or poke their head between the front seats to say hi comfortably, but they can’t go jumping out the window to chase a squirrel. There are even doggie car seats for those owners who are a little more cautious. via GIPHY

Puppy needs pit stops, too

You might be tempted to get a long drive over in one go, but keep in mind that us humans have a little more self control than dogs do…sometimes. When dogs need to go to for a walk, they need to go for a walk. Factoring in a few stops will make the ride more tolerable for both of you, as well as keep you from having to deal with any unpleasant messes in the backseat. 

Don’t leave your pet alone in the car for an extended period of time

With all the stories of people mistreating their animals by leaving them in hot cars, this one seems like a no brainer, but it still needs to be said. Even if you’re only planning on leaving the vehicle for a few minutes, make sure your dogs are at a comfortable temperature, crack a window, and give them some food and water, just in case something ends up keeping you longer than expected. The luxury dog bed and stuffed animal are optional.


Know the laws in the place you’re driving

In Ontario, the laws about insecure loads and careless driving can apply to pets. For example, driving with an unsecured dog in the flatbed of a truck would violate both. The laws might change depending on how far your doggie road trip takes you, so make sure you’re also familiar with the law in every destination along the way.

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Put down a blanket

Once you’ve got the safety precautions down, you can worry about other stuff, like how the heck you’re going to clean up all that hair. Covering the seats your dog occupies makes this much less of a hassle, and will make your dog more comfy in the process. It’ll also help if your dog goes for a quick swim, or if you encounter some bad weather during a pit stop, or, heaven forbid, the little rascal finds something putrid to roll in.

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Travelling with cats is a very different experience

Unlike dogs, most cats aren’t too fond of travelling around in a big capsule of metal and pleather. Because of their size and agility, cats are a lot harder to contain too, so it’s best o keep them in a carrier throughout the journey so they don’t end up somewhere they shouldn’t be.

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Every stop is a photo op

The adorable pupperinos on this list are proof that doggie road trips are excellent opportunities for pet-based photo shoots, even before they even leave the vehicle. Enjoy the journey just as much as the destination, and give back to the world by spreading the cuteness.

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